Saturday, September 25, 2010

M'sia to sell Bakun dam

An aerial view of the downstream area of the Bakun hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak on the Balui River. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA will sell the giant, multi-billion-dollar Bakun dam in Borneo to Sarawak state once it has completed price negotiations for the controversial project, a report said on Saturday.

Peter Chin Fah Kui, minister for energy, green technology and water, said discussions with the Sarawak government to fix the amount would begin soon.

'The Cabinet agreed recently to the Sarawak government's proposal to buy the Bakun dam.
'We are now negotiating with the Sarawak government on the price, principally with the Sarawak Energy (a subsidiary of the state government),' he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

The project has been dogged by delays and setbacks since its approval in 1993. The dam, which involves flooding an area the size of Singapore, has attracted fierce criticism because of its impact on the environment.

But at the last hurdle the project has stumbled again, with delays in winning the state government's permission to begin the flooding process and no deal yet on purchasing its hefty 2,400 megawatt output. The Star daily reported in July that the federal government was seeking 8.0 billion ringgit (S$3.4 billion) while the state government offer was just 6.0 billion ringgit. -- AFP

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